Friday, July 11, 2008

Vacation Reading and Book Shopping

me: Hello, my name is Allison and I'm a book-a-holic.
Group: Hi, Allison!
me: After doing pretty well in Barnes and Noble, only buying the new Donna Andrews and Sisters Grimm books I had planned on (and the first Patricia Sprinkle, too, so sue me), I was sucked in through the doorway of Phoenix Books, a used bookstore in San Luis Obispo that I have gone to for years and years. I've found lovely little old volumes of poetry (I adore old books) there and just went in for a wee peek.
Group: Right...
me: And I found the one Pennyfoot Hotel mystery I hadn't gotten yet (Shrouds of Holly). And an intriguing mystery called The Once and Future Con by Peter Guttridge. And a little volume of Edward Gorey's pictures featuring Dancing Cats. And a 1919 copy of M. Somerset Maugham's Moon and Sixpence (I've always thought I should read Maugham, and what better way than with a charming old book). And a volume of poetry that caught my eye. So, oops. The book diet starts tomorrow!

I read Bones To Ashes by Kathy Reichs. Holly recently reviewed Deadly Decisions by Kathy Reichs here. I completely agree that she has pedantic tendencies. She clearly does research for her books, and she maybe goes overboard with giving the reader information. But that's fine. I like Temperance Brennan; she's funny and smart and her sarcasm is thoroughly enjoyable. In this one, a skeleton is found that makes Tempe think of a childhood friend who disappeared decades before. Meanwhile, her lover, Ryan, has announced a major life change while asking for Tempe's help with a series of missing persons/murder cases involving girls. I could see where the mystery was headed, and I wasn't thrilled. It was dark and upsetting, and I thought the end came on rather abruptly. Still, the book was a real page-turner, and I was engrossed in the mystery of Tempe's childhood friend.

I *attempted* to read Unzipped by Lois Greiman. This got great reviews on amazon, so maybe there's something wrong with me. I rarely fail to finish a book. Even if it's awful, I might skim through it to see how it ends. This one, I tossed away in disgust after fewer than 100 pages. Christina is a former cocktail waitress (who still dresses the part) now a psychologist. She's been treating a football star for impotence and during a late-evening meeting (her secretary had already gone home), he assaults her, then drops dead. Jack Rivera, the detective investigating the death, makes a number of disgusting assumptions about Chrissy based on her mode of dress and the fact that naturally, any woman would be trying to get the hunky football star in bed. Now, mysteries often feature a skeptical cop, and that's fine, but these scenes with Jack and Chrissy (haha) were so heavy-handed as to be offensive (and I rarely take offense in literature). What capped it for me was when Chrissy and Jack start making out after he's just accused her of being a slut with no professional ethics. Sorry. Life's too short. It was too bad, because there were funny moments in the part I read, but I just couldn't stomach this one.


Holly said...

Hello, my name is Holly and I'm also a bookaholic. Just wait until I post about MY vacation binging! ;-)

Is Bones to Ashes #4 in the series?

Oh, don't you just hate when a book isn't what you want it to be? And is that a Three's Company reference to Jack and Chrissy? ;-)

carolz said...

I took the Greiman books for what they were - fluffy, somewhat funny mysteries that use a lot of stereotypes. However, if you continue reading Unzipped, Chrissy's friend and secretary breaks the stereotype of a dumb blonde. I actually thought after awhile, that Greiman played with stereotypes throughout all her books - I've read the first three. Don't take them seriously and they're rather entertaining.

allisonmariecat said...

Carol, it's good to hear that the Greiman books have redeeming characters :) I just couldn't soldier on after the making out with the detective part. I couldn't get on board with this heroine after that. That's okay, I have lots of "funny mysteries" in the pile, and not every book works for every reader.

Holly, the Three's Company reference is intentional, I'd assume. I actually didn't notice it until I typed it in the review!

Bones to Ashes is just recently out in paperback, and I think it's #10.